MoBu, a project led and designed by co-owner and PYGA founder, Pat Morewood, is the company’s dream and ambition to build the best quality bike in the world using techniques never before seen in bicycle manufacturing.
Designed with input from PYGA Euro Steel pro-riders and Heinrich Wichmann of Blakstone Tek (BST) (world leaders in the production of high-performance carbon fiber wheels and components for brands including Ducati, MV Agusta, Arch, Norton, Vuhl and Ariel Atom), the design protocol for MoBu was to improve on their already successful stage model and to future proof the design for years to come. The manufacturing of MoBu will be uncompromising in its execution and provide the ultimate control and fun factor for amateur and pro alike, whilst minimizing waste material from manufacture.
- Intended Use: XC/Marathon or Trail/Down country
- Rear Wheel: Travel:118mm XC/Marathon // 135mm Trail/Down country
- Fork Travel: 120mm XC/Marathon // 130-140mm Trail/Down country
- Wheel size: 29-inch
- Material: Carbon Fiber
- Sizes: M,L,XL
- Color: Raw carbon 3k weave
- Weight: XC/marathon – 10.25kg/22.5 pounds // Trail/down country – 12.4kg/27.3pounds (size large w/o pedals)
Pat Morewood commented; “Project MoBu is the realization of a dream to build the best carbon fibre mountain bikes in the world. In order to fulfil this dream, we needed to find a manufacturing partner who shared our passion for innovation and our belief that things can always be done better. Incredibly we found such a partner right here in South Africa, BST. The name MoBu is derived from the Sesotho word meaning ‘soil or of the earth.” Morewood said; “Our plan has always been to produce our own bikes right here in South Africa, however, this was not an easy task to accomplish especially when it comes to carbon fiber frames. I’ve always believed in South Africa’s ability as a nation to be able to produce some of the best products in the world, for example during the 1980’s many businesses were set up by the government to produce military aircraft such as the ROOIVALK helicopter and other military equipment.”
After hearing about BST, based in Gauteng (Johannesburg), PYGA met with owner Gary Turner to discuss the possibility of local production. The project began almost two years ago and is now at the point of final testing and shortly after onto the first production. The first fifty frames have already been pre-sold and are due for delivery as soon as the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions allow for manufacturing to continue. Once in full production, the MoBu will remain a very high-quality, small-batch model with the anticipation that the frames will continue to be sold on a pre-order basis.
Through Project MoBu, PYGA has had access to BST’s unique and proprietary manufacturing techniques that have resulted in a frame that has unparalleled quality, strength and rideability – a world first in mountain bike design and manufacture.
Morewood added, “I always enjoy pushing the limits of what’s considered the ‘norm’ and have done so by increasing shock progression and anti-squat as well as pushing the geometry to what I think is optimal for this type of bike.”
Multiple South African XCO champion, two time Olympian and winner of four Absa Cape Epic stages, Phillip Buys, said; ”The immediate feeling was how stable the bike is, especially on high-speed sections. The bike is noticeably smoother when cornering through switchback with a feeling of more grip and faster exit speeds. On flat roads and rough climbs, the bike maintains momentum and power transfer is consistent with more rear wheel traction than I’ve had before. My overall experience summarized in one word is – efficient. When we spend long consecutive days out on the trails you want to be as efficient as possible which saves effort. The MoBu takes away unnecessary twitches around corners and feels stable at all times saving the normal mental strain in keeping the bike upright. On the MoBu I feel in control, relaxed, fast and always having fun”
A major incentive for PYGA has been to find ways to manufacture a carbon frame without the waste that traditional techniques incur. BST has a proprietary process that uses no airbags, polystyrene cores or polyurethane formers that would have to be disposed of. Instead, they utilize re-usable internal formers that are the precise shape of the inside form enabling near perfect compaction throughout the frame time after time, something that is not easily possible with current production methods. BST has also developed a resin system specific to their wheel production, this prepreg resin has incredible impact resistance as would be the expected requirement of a wheel that needs to remain safe at speeds in excess of 400km/hr.
Ollie Burnett, PYGA partner commented; “This really excited us as we are all for preserving the environment and genuinely reducing our carbon footprint”.
The MoBu has uniquely engineered flex, which translates into better cornering traction and forgiveness and overall ride quality. A fact borne out by the initial testing and pro rider feedback.
The frame holds two full-size water bottles, has a lower shock-mounted flip-chip and will run a 185mm x 55mm length trunnion Rockshox Ultimate on the trail version and a 185mm x 47.5mm length SIDLux on the XC/marathon setup.
Such was the positive response from team rider Beukes, that three days after receiving his bike he took on one of the toughest marathon events, namely the Attakwas Extreme 121km on its maiden voyage on prototype number three. Following this, team PYGA riders were confident enough to take part in two other events on proto numbers five, six and seven leading up to the Cape Epic. The event, like all other sporting events, was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19.
100% RAW CARBON – STRAIGHT FROM THE MOLD!
The only alloy component is the 2-piece CNC machined rocker made from 7075 aluminium which features a hirth-joint axle which provides exceptional torsional stiffness to the bridge-less rocker.
Cables will be managed internally with anti-vibration foam tubes with a lower cable port for ease of installation. Rubber grommets will seal off all entry and exit ports (not shown in these prototype frames).
Up front, the fork is connected to an offset tapered headset cup Hirth- Joint axle with its CNC machined 7075 Auminium rocker providing 10mm of reach and toptube adjustment enabling the fine tuning required by many riders.
The one-piece swingarm is internally mounted to the front triangle providing a smooth look to the BB area which utilizes a threaded 73mm BB standard.
In addition to 148mm Boost, the drive-side of the rear end has been offset by 2.5mm which may not sound like much but equates to approximately 1 gear in order to improve the chain-line and rear wheel stiffness.
- Adjustable reach via offset taper cups
- Flip-chip adjustable BB height and headtube angle
- Plus 2.5mm Boost 148 rear end (improved chain line and wheel dish)
- One frame for two disciplines
- Two full water bottle mounts inside frame
- Lifetime warranty on frame and bearings
- Handmade in South Africa
- Two bolt ISCG mounts
- O-ring sealed double-row full complement bearings throughout
PYGA are so confident in BST’s method and precision of manufacturing that they will be offering a lifetime warranty on frame and bearings. The MoBu will be available shortly after manufacturing can resume following relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures.